Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess


Skype Searching
August 5, 2007, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Research, Technology

For those who don’t know what Skype is, direct from the the Skype website:
Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. Skype created a little piece of software that makes communicating with people around the world easy and fun…it is available in 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, as well as voicemail and call forwarding. Skype, based in Luxembourg, has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers and is an eBay company.

Basically this is a neat way for you to communicate by chat/voice over the internet, especially if you have international contacts. There is also a video element so you can see who you’re talking to, and you can have conference calls with multiple Skype users at the same time as well. You can call people’s cell phones directly, you can download a mobile version of Skype to your own phone, there are even widgets and things that you can put on your blogs so people can Skype you right from your website.

There are Skype Public Chats as well on various topics. This to me seems sort of like LinkedIn Answers in a live, chat format. You could go into a Skype chat on a topic in which your company recruits and offer some tips and advice to the listeners while at the same time appropriately marketing your services to the entire group.

In addition to all this, Skype has started Skypecasts, which seems to be its own version of a podcast just for Skype users. You can host your own Skypecast and talk about whatever you want, play music, take calls from listeners, pretty much whatever you feel like. As recruiters, wouldn’t it be interesting to have a weekly Skypecast going over positions you have, or perhaps providing tips to job seekers to help promote your business? It’s all free too!

Most of what Skype offers is free for basic use. There are a couple of premium features which are pay-for, such as SkypeIn and SkypeOut. SkypeIn gives you a phone number for people to dial and reach you on your Skype. The cool thing about this is that you can either select a number that is local to you or a number that is local to your customers, if they are in a different part of the world as you. Pricing ranges from $18 for 3 months to $60 for a full year. SkypeOut gives you a choice of unlimited US/Canada calls or a low cost for international calls directly from your Skype account. You can also purchase Skype Credits and pay for things as you go. There is SkypePro as well which takes the best of everything and rolls it into a package deal. Take a look at Skype’s homepage to check out all of the features because there are way too many to list out here.

I’m a relative new user of this neat product myself, so I was playing around with it recently while chatting with a research colleague, and I thought, ‘I wonder if you can use this in research?’ Turns out you can to a certain extent!

Obviously, there is a search feature on the Skype product itself. You can run searches on Skype based on Name, Skype Username, or email address. Let’s say for example you came across the email address ‘hisham.mardambey@gmail.com’ in a quest to find a C# programmer. You might assume that is the first and last name of the person, however you’d like to know where this individual might be located. Plug the email address into the search field and here’s what you’ll see:


You will notice that we now know the location for the person with this email address. Clicking on the profile and we have further information:

We now have a homepage for this person. Looking there we can gather more personal info on him, and plugging his domain into http://www.allwhois.com/, the search yields phone numbers and addresses as well:
X Labs
Hisham Mardam Bey (hisham.mardambey@gmail.com)
+961.3609386
Karakas
Yacubian/Shouran Block A
Beirut, none 13-5657
LB

We can also use Skype to search the web. I learned from Moises Lopez that if you use personal phrases such as “I am *” or “I work for *” you can find personal homepages and possibly personal contact information for people who either hold specific titles or work at targeted companies. I tried this out with Skype and searched using the phrase “my Skype *” and I noticed a lot of my results contained resumes! I started narrowing down further, using C# “my Skype *” and I found a C# programmer in Germany named Eric Bodden. His contact information was listed on his resume page.


You can expand out the search and use additional operators, for example:

~cv “my skype *” -jobs -careers -apply -submit
or
~resume “my skype *” -job (provided by Mike N.)

It’s not a perfect search and there are certainly more search strings (and probably better ones) to try out, but it’s another way to gather additional contact information for people. Lots of people are starting to catch on to Skype and the value it has with helping you to stay in contact with others, and it’s good to know that as researchers we can tap into this resource to find these individuals relatively easily.

I also now have a direct SkypeMe! link on my blog, so if you have Skype, please feel free to contact me!

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Genius! Pure and simple. Well done Goddess.

Comment by Jim Stroud

Smart thinking !
Selvaraj Natarajan
Top Recruiting Solutions

Comment by Selly Nat

Wow! At first I couldn’t see how this was going to be pertinent – but that’s pretty incredible. Nice going.

JR Fent
Recruiter

Comment by JR




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